NUMBER ONE CHAV?
It's unusual to see Sovereign's name without at least a
mention of 2004's most overused epithet - 'chav'. Described variously
as 'chav scum ambassador' (ideasfactory) or 'ugly chav heifer' (chavspotting.co.uk)
- for the record, she ain't at all ugly, but big-eyed and cute as fuck
- her scrapeback, ubiquitous sovereign ring, and tracksuit addiction have
led some to see her as spokesperson for the minority group it's still
ok to hate. Would she describe herself as a 'chav'?
PIKEY ARGOS JEWELLERY
'I don't know if I'm a chav or a charv or whatever… I'm on the chav
website as this number one chav, and I'm like, errgh? It's always, like,
yeah, Lady Sovereign, pikey jewellery from Argos' - she points to the
big gold ring on her right hand - 'but this didn't even COME from Argos!
My mate got it for me, and it's like ONE sovereign… it's not like
my hands and neck is drenched in gold, man…'
TOWNIES VS MISFITS
Like any teen music freak, she sees it as part of an ongoing, age-old
battle between townies and misfits - like Pulp's Misshapes seen from the
other side. 'I think the people behind this whole chav thing are like
these rock kids, these skaters, who just don't like the fact that certain
people dress this way and that way. On the chavspotting website, they've
got me, they've got Shystie, they've got Lady Fury - but they've also
got Beckham and J-Lo. I'm like, so, everyone who's not got long hair and
bits of grease coming out and guitars is a chav, right?
Internet bulletin boards are full of claims she's
a 'wigga', chatting ragga-flavoured rhymes in a patois she's not entitled
to because she's white. 'It's just how I talk. I was brought up round
Chalkhill and Neasdon, and that's how everyone talks. It depends - like
when I'm with my friends, you probably wouldn't be able to understand
a word I'm saying…Just like, ya, yeah, yah gwaaan, you cool yeah…
things like that, ah its blitz ahtside like… even the tone of my
voice would change. It depends who I'm talking to.'
' Like now, I'm talking normally, but when I'm MCing my voice just goes
YOOOOOWWW, it's just deeper. It did take me a while to find my voice -
my MCing voice - because before the YOOOOWWWW it was more like 'Yeah!!!
Ah!!! Yeah gonna get liveleeee!!!!!!!', really high and girly. And I was
thinking this ain't gonna work, and I just sat there for hours and hours,
and suddenly it was YOOOOWWWW, and I was like *gasp!* that's it! this
is great!!!!! Most girls just use their own voice to MC but it's just
too squeaky. That's why it took me a long time to find my voice. And I
was quite timid before I found my voice and once I found it, I was really
LOADS OF GOLD
Though she's now ditched the majority
of her sovereign rings ('alright, I was a chav, I admit it, I used to
have loads of gold on my hands, but then they all fell off when I was
drunk because my fingers were too skinny!') and moved out of her mum's
place on the Chalkhill Estate, it doesn't seem likely that Sovereign's
gonna posh up in the near future.
MACCY D'S OR CHIPS?
'I won't cook. I'll go to the chip shop or Macdonald's.' And she doesn't
envisage herself leaving her beloved London any time soon. 'I went to
the country recently and it was mad! All the sheep, and the cows and everything.
Some of these places were so dead and quiet and empty. I'm like, how do
you lot even have electricity?'
'I'm glad I live in London. I reckon I wouldn't have the personality I
have if I didn't. I wouldn't sound the way I do, and I wouldn't be listening
to the music I'm listening to. I'd probably be, like, an indie kid or
something.' At which point she laughs derisively, lights up a Sovereign,
and smooths her scrapeback. Sovereign - a cheeky midget tracksuited chav
female with rapping skillz and a multi-million pound record deal. Long
may we be subject to her cheek.